Locking bias

Locking bias

A major drop in weekly Unemployment Claims is the big news of the morning.  Jobless Claims for the week ending 1/24/15 were reported to be 265,000.  This was a drop of 43,000 from last week’s upwardly revised 308,000, and much lower than the market’s anticipated 300,000.  Now that holiday layoffs are for the most part behind us, it is clear that the job market continues to strengthen.  Given that mortgage rates have maintained near record lows, we truly are getting the best of both worlds in our current economy.

The past two days haven’t been kind to the stock market.  The increased volatility seems to add fuel to the stock market once it does find its footing.  Each sharp drop has been followed by several consecutive days of strong growth.  It seems like investors are waiting for the down days to then get back to strong buying once they feel stock prices have reached their lows.  As this cycle continues, many investors continue to buy low and then sell high.  This trading pattern isn’t always a healthy sign for the future of stocks.  However, it seems to be more of a planned volatility with overall growth still likely long term.

Mortgage bonds continue to trade near the top of their current channel.  However, today they are losing a bit of ground.  With yesterday’s Fed statement not providing any real shock or concern, bonds are maintaining their position in between a large trading range.  As long as we are near the top of this range we will maintain our locking bias.